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Description - The Male Body by Susan Bordo

The male nude is everywhere now, from mainstream movies to magazine covers. But what exactly is seen when men take off their clothes, in public and in private? Is the male body truly exposed? In this surprisingly candid analysis, Pulitzer Prize nominated Susan Bordo speaks to men and women alike, scrutinising the images and experience of everyday life. Beginning with a frank, tender look at her own father's body, Susan Bordo then goes on to analyse the presentation of maleness in wider society. Men's (and women's) ideas about men's bodies are heavily influenced by society's expectations, and Bordo examines where these ideas come from. In chapters on the penis, 1950s Hollywood, male beauty standards, and sexual harassment, and in discussions of topics ranging from Marlon Brando and Boogie Nights to Philip Roth and Lady Chatterley's Lover to Michael Jordan and Lolita, she offers fresh and unexpected insights.

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Book Details

ISBN: 9780374527327
ISBN-10: 0374527326
Format: Paperback
(198mm x 129mm x 28mm)
Pages: 358
Imprint: Farrar, Straus & Giroux Inc
Publisher: Farrar, Straus & Giroux Inc
Publish Date: 21-Mar-2001
Country of Publication: United States

Other Editions - The Male Body by Susan Bordo

Book Reviews - The Male Body by Susan Bordo

US Kirkus Review » A cheerful but probing look at the male form, seeking to prove that similar myths, fantasies, and pressures have been applied to men's and women's bodies, with some surprising parallel effects on the male and female mind. Bordo (English and Women's Studies/Univ, of Kentucky) begins her airing of the male body with her father's penis. That is, the fact that she could not imagine it leads the author to conclude that society has never bombarded us with male bodies in film, literature, magazines, and advertisements as it has done with the female form. In the vein of Roland Barthes, Bordo plows through some of the more disturbing and graphic myths of the phallus in modern times, using Philip Roth, Jockey ads, romance novels, and Seinfeld (among others) to infuse humor into such subjects as the pressure to "perform," the stereotyped ubermensch of hardened body and heart, and gender roles in the home. A recurring question is whether men and women react differently to images of the opposite sex, and Bardo answers with a resounding no. Gay culture and African-American culture, the author argues, have contributed greatly to the reintroduction of beauty to the male body, as their attitudes about public display and preening fashion have altered the mainstream American conception of masculinity. The modern man is bewildered by women's conflicting ideas as to what this male essence should be, the serene and sensitive "nice guy" or the aggressive beast and sexual machine that the mass media reifies as the only unadulterated man. The author occasionally moves too far afield, dedicating entire chapters to the Lewinsky affair and Lolita, but these too are written with style, humor, and insight. Bordo may get personal but is never too serious, and her work underlines some surprising commonalities and differences between the sexes without a whiff of demagoguery. (Kirkus Reviews)


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Author Biography - Susan Bordo

Susan Bordo is a professor of English and women's studies at the University of Kentucky. She has written and edited several books including the Pulitzer Prize nominated Unbearable Weight and Twilight Zones: The Hidden Life of Cultural Images from Plato to O.J.

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